My Quest To Teach

March 29, 2012

Lessons Learned from Trayvon Martin

Filed under: Uncategorized — William Jackson @ 21:00
I'm Trayvon Martin

I'm Trayvon Martin

Lessons Learned from Trayvon Martin
Fathers Teach Your Children How To Survive II

By William Jackson, M.Edu.

Trayvon Martin Video: “Am I Trayvon Martin”

Black youth both young men and women are being
killed, their lives seemingly have no valuable.
Just another statistic for vital statistics and crime
reports and  another one or two minute sound bite
for news media.

Young men like Trayvon Martin (Sanford, Florida),
Ervin Jefferson (Atlanta, Ga.), 20-year-old Kendrec
Lavelle McDade (Azus), 18 year-old Ramarley Graham
(New York City) taken away by violent deaths.
Violence, claiming the lives of those who should have
promising futures ahead of them, young men and
women have fallen at the hands of those who have
sworn to protect and serve the community, but instead
have caused chaos, sorrow and pain.

Black fathers, grandfathers, uncles and stepfathers are
hard pressed to teach young Black men and a growing
number of Black women survival skills to keep them
from being targets and victims.

President Barack Obama has challenged more Black fathers
to step up and take on the responsibility to teach
their children. Even though he is the President he has
experienced  disrespect, curses and hatred is shown to him
because of his color. Racism is not dead…

President Obama has even made the statement that
Trayvon Martin could be his son. What a testament for a
plea for change.
The excuse that Black youth are trouble makers because
they have no fathers does not count in the case of Trayvon
Martin because there is an involved father. The excuse
that Black children are all in poverty is not true from the
lifestyle of the Martin family. They are not welfare
recipients, nor on food stamps, but some in society auto-
matically think they are, this mentality must change.

In the United States of America Black young men
time lines are slowly diminishing; devaluing to a point
of unimportance. Across this country more young Black
men and young Black women are being gunned down.
Fathers, the teaching to our sons and now daughters
should go beyond riding a bike, attending church, dating,
drugs and sex. Fathers have to teach their children lessons
of life, the lessons of survival, how to stay alive when there
are those who do not value them as they should. Fathers,
the responsibility to speak to children is more important
now more than ever.

Personal Fears
True fathers have fear for our sons and now for
our daughters. Attending the Daddy Daughter Dance 2012
I see loving and involved fathers. This needs to grow and be
The dance shows that fathers are involved and there are more
Black fathers involved than would be imagined by society.
Fathers fear that their children may die before they do
either at the hands of an overzealous service revolver or
the hands of someone who looks like them. Our young men
and women should be searching for a cure to cancer, diabetes,
heart defects, fighting poverty, working to end hunger
and other social challenges.

Fathers now must teach sons and daughters to look over
their shoulder, how to talk to law enforcement officers, to be
mindful that some see them as less than a man or women.
Be careful who you hang with and who you associate or call

Black youth should be concentrating on graduating high
school and planning their futures, not having parents planning

There is Evidence
The evidence is visible in the media and seen on our streets.
Young Black men and women’s lives are at risk, when
men do not take the time to teach their children how to
conduct themselves in public, pull up their pants, talk
respectfully to adults, respect authority and act with
intelligence and pride, they set their children up for failure.
When Black children are successful in school, in their churches,
earning honors for academic excellence and achievement
they are not acting white, or the other demeaning terms used for
being respectful, educated and career oriented.

Young men and women that act like thugs and gansta’s will be
treated as such and subjected to actions that may prove deadly, but
this mentality is transferred to all young Black men and women.
Young men must be willing to change their mentalities and
actions. Not to change who they are, but to change the perceptions
of society. Too many Black youth are not prepared to grow mentally,
socially and spiritually. To many think it is cool to be uneducated
living on welfare. Parents should not teach their children that a
“Food Stamp” life is a good life.

Teachers can’t teach social responsibility and accountability,
the government can’t teach it, the media can’t teach it,
but fathers and mothers can and must teach the value of education.
If a greater number of families are involved in their children’s lives
crime would be down, education would be a priority and more Black
youth, our young men and women would have more direction and purpose.

The reality is there is a lack of fatherly presence in
Black homes; it affects communities, schools
and churches.  It is past time for more fathers to
stand up and make a commitment to their communities.

Fathers must remember that there are several institutions
that want Black children Educational and Institutional, it is up
to parents to direct their children to the correct institution.
Statistics and data do not lie, they can be manipulated, but facts
are facts. It is up to parents to direct children to educational
institutions, vocational schools, career choices, valuable career
options. Steering youth away from the institutions of incarcer-
ation and death.

Parents must know their children’s friends and associates, because they
sometimes do not have your child’s best interests.
Trayvon Martin is a wake up call for all of us to the travesty of
Black youth being murdered. The Trayvon Martin story is not the
first, but parents must work hard to make it the last..

Trayvon Martin Video: Am I Trayvon Martin

Additional Blogs
Anointing  for Fathers

If Father’s Can


March 23, 2012

Nikki Giovanni at Edward Waters College 2018 Reflection

Nikki G


Nikki Giovanni at Edward Waters College
by William Jackson, M.Ed.

The 66 year old Nikki Giovanni;

is honest and solid in her opinions about
Black people (Negros) as she announces,
education (every child needs a computer),
gays, politics, technology (Negros must
learn computers especially inner city youth),
women’s rights, men’s responsibilities to
their families, sex (teach kids to be responsible
about sex), slavery, Hip Hop, Dr. King,
(greatly influenced by his father),
Malcolm X (a great speaker), President Obama
(awesome role model), Whitney Houston(no one
really helped her) and other subjects.

She runs a gambit of ideologies and her beliefs
that are both strict and based on the actions
and choices a person makes. Ms. Giovanni does
not hold back how she feels or what she thinks
about past and current events.

She was more than happy to share with the
several hundred in attendance at Milne Aud-
itorium on the campus of Edward Waters College;
the oldest HBCU in Florida; the responsibility
of students today to prepare to lead as adults
in a technological world. EWC students were told
that, “You go to college for a career, not a job.

Education is more important now than ever before.
”Commenting about the value of HBCU’s Historically
Black Colleges and Universities in the 21st century,
Ms. Giovanni stated that, “anyone that questions
the validity of HBCU’s is stupid, they provide a
quality and realistic education. Many White
schools would not admit Negros because of
their backgrounds, financials and family
responsibilities.” Mentioning White schools
won’t take a chance on most Negros, but HBCU’s
have been doing that for years and
successfully teaching. Negros cannot afford to
be unprepared to meet the challenges of
educating their children and providing financial
security in a world where a White
mentality has ruled with devastating results
for people of color.

Ms. Giovanni speaks that Negros should not expect
anyone to give them anything, they
must work for achievement and many children are
being taught the wrong lessons of life by giving
children shoes and clothes worth hundreds of dollars,
but cannot read on grade level or perform simple
math functions. All children have a right to a
quality education, but too many parents are not
taking responsibility for providing for their
child’s education when education starts home

The dialogue was animated, passionate, humorous,
serious, and at times controversial in
Ms. Giovanni’s remarks. According to Ms. Giovanni
she has a right to express her viewpoints about
many subjects living to the age of 66 years young.
As she stated youth need to listen to seniors
(parents and grandparents) in their lives because
seniors have learned from their mistakes and know
more about life than youth. That youth should not
feel they are owed anything because they have not
earned anything yet or sacrificed for anything like
those that participated in the civil rights movement
of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s or World Wars.

This is my first opportunity to listen and
learn from the iconic poet, writer, educator
(Virginia Tech Professor), civil rights participant,
mentor and role model. There were several refer-
ences that Ms. Giovanni made about the struggles
of Negros in America and how Negros helped to build
this country through slavery, how  Negros were
treated as less than second class citizens in
what is still the greatest free country in the world.

Ms. Giovanni’s focus on education is empowering and
honest in the discussion that if Negros do not take
responsibility for education and promote learning
in their homes they will continue to be economically
left behind in poverty and lack political power.
Her observations that Negros could have more political
power like Jews or other cultures if they worked
together, and not allow their minds to be manipulated
by the entertainment industry and false advertising.

Promoting education instead of the entertainment
industry, Ms. Giovanni, stated everyone cannot be
an entertainer as a rapper, football player,
basketball player, dancer or other artist in enter-
tainment. On the opposite end more Negro youth can
be doctors, lawyers, teachers, engineers, scientist
and other professionals if parents would change
their mentalities and teach their children about
how these careers benefit them more.

Ms. Giovanni discussed her passion for youth and
education by sharing with the students
of EWC that they are just as talented and gifted
as any other student even Ivy League students.

DCPS students from several middle and high schools
that attended were told to be responsible for their
lives and the choices that they make. To find a role
model of someone that is extraordinary, successful
and supportive. Reminding youth that extraordinary
people accept their responsibilities in life and
strive to improve themselves and their communities.
Television has created a bad image of successful
people especially Negros, once they are successful
they should come back to their neighbourhoods and
help others not leave and never return.

She stated, “Don’t be selfish, there should not be
a mentality of I’m looking out for number
one, but a mentality of working together.” Other
cultures support each other, that is why their
cultures are successful, more Negros need to do
the same to lift up Negro youth from
poverty, lack of education and help establish career
goals. The mention of more responsible
Negro men who are role models is needed and fathers
who help create a child should stay in that child’s
life and help raise them, that is why so many youth
are in our prison systems and live in poverty, too
many men make children, but do not want to support them.

As Ms. Giovanni coming close to her conclusion read
several of her poems that the audience applauded
and cheered.

“Ego Tripping”
this was a treat to the youth that have aspirations of
writing and poetic abilities. At the conclusion
of her discussion Ms. Giovanni reminded the women
present of their roles as mothers, nurturers,
educators, role models and the strength that sustained
them through slavery, wars, civil rights and other
events throughout history. Firmly stating with strong
conviction that, ”if Black women did not exists they
would have to be invented.”

The applause and cheers echoed for several minutes
especially from young women and seniors some even
cried to her prophetic statements about women of color
and their continued strength to raise families and
take care of a home without a husband.

As a child raised by a single mother, I reflected
on the strength of my mother in raising myself
and two younger siblings with the help of my
grandmother. A father not being a part of our life,
agreeing with Ms. Giovanni’s comments and inwardly
thanking my mother for her strength, her prayers and
perseverance through good times and hard times.

Photos of event

Video interviews

March 19, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — William Jackson @ 18:54

Duality of Hazing and Bullying


Hazing/Bullying: Duality of Physical Violence

William Jackson, M.Ed.

The issue of Hazing and Bullying has created a
new level of concern for parents sending their
children to college. The elevated incidence of
injuries and harm (physical,emotional, psychological)
and deaths of those falling victim
to the violence that is the result of inflicting
suffering and pain upon another person.

Bullying has many forms from verbal harassment,
sexual assaults (and favors), cyber threats and
physical attacks. All used to create an environment
of fear, trepidation and compliance to the
wishes of the tormentor(s). Hazing is the
execution of psychological manipulation, physical
violence and emotional persuasion to create
conditions of servitude (serving those who
execute hazing) and creating circumstances
of acceptance for violence and humiliation
to gain entrance into an organization.

The expectation of physical violence should
never be acceptable nor encouraged. Hazing
conditions have historically been present in
the educational systems of our schools, religious
groups (orders), military units, sports teams/
athletic organizations both male and female.
Hazing assaults and violence associated has been
documented in Greek organizations that emphasis
brotherhood and sisterhood to the degree of a
religious order and complete servitude to the
objectives and wishes of the organizations
statues and laws.

The Hazing ritual for entrance into an organization
has predated the 20th century educational and pro-
fessional advancements with the destruction of
independence to the denying of personal welfare
and safety. Some hazing has kept its medieval
assault techniques that border on
Human Rights Violations

The recent events not only with Florida A&M University
are seen at Dartmouth College (Ramer, H.,
3/13/2012), University of Georiga (L. Shearer, March 03, 2010)
Vancouver, Wash. Heritage High School, (March 10th, 2012)
and other Colleges and Universities nationally. Even
though an unfortunate event as the death of a student
has occurred, not just at FAMU it should be noted
that, “hazing does not just happen on the campuses
of Historically Black Colleges and Universities,
but has happened in other higher educational
institutions and in high schools,” as stated by
S.C. State University President Dr. George E. Cooper.

The facts are that Hazing and Bullying are a duality
of physical violence (a twofold division in several
spiritual, religious, and philosophical doctrines)
in that you have organizations that emphasis brother-
hood and sisterhood, unity, love, obedience/respect
to elders and service to community, but in order to
gain entrance individuals are subjected to
humiliation, physical, mental, sexual and even
spiritual assaults. Many entering into organizations
are enticed by social acceptance, higher cultural
recognition, likeability, improved employment
opportunities and future professional growth.

Hazing and Bullying are not issues of color,
social stature, economics nor religion, it is
a tragedy of human violation that must be
investigated and those who feel it is necessary
should be re-educated (not just punished) to
the emotional and psychological damage that
Hazing and Bullying produces. When someone
is beaten, cursed, punished, their human rights
violated or restricted these are the same
elements of bullying and even can be categ-
orized as torture (The intentional infliction
of physical or mental suffering upon
an individual or individuals), Blacks should
know better having experienced centuries of
slavery, torture, violation of civil and
human rights. Why would Black continue this
against themselves for membership into a

Bullying and Hazing
Hazing can be seen as an organized and planned
form of Bullying. A difference between these
behaviors is bullying is an attempt to exclude
a person from activities. Hazing is often done
in an attempt to complete a rite of passage or
initiation into a group. Hazing is done to create
a sense of a bond between the person being hazed
and the person/group doing the hazing. The
Hazing process is even used to destroy or break
down the person(s) individuality and bring it
into compliance to the group ideologies and actions.

The expectations of schools and community organ-
izations are in need of being reeducated and
revamping of statues for entrance. Bullying and
Hazing can be lowered or ceased by empowering
students and adult leaders/role models with
positive alternatives that build relationships
into a stronger brotherhood or sisterhood.
Hyland (1928): found in research when joining
armies, fraternal organizations, political
movements, or religious orders, new members must
frequently be separated from aspects of their past
lives and formally embrace the mission and beliefs
of the new association. The rites and actions
involved, qualitatively similar to humiliation
rituals, are termed hazing or aggressive conversion.

Differences in Hazing
Hazing differs from Bullying in that the person
agrees to the humiliation that is initiative.
This agreement allows the attempt to break a
person’s will and to change their mental accep-
tance of violence, humiliation and self denial
of choice to gain entrance into an organization.
Chidley (1995) cited such activities for Hazing
as sleep deprivation, public nudity, childish
pranks, drunkenness, gross racial slurs, beatings,
partial drowning, starvation and other activities.
These in definition are Violation of Human Rights
that are denied actions even during war as stated
by the United Nations.

Hazing Among Students
A considerable amount of hazing continues to
occur in schools and school-related programs
(Chidley, 1995; Plummer, 1993). Educators must
consider carefully their stance toward any hazing
that has become traditional in their settings.
Although mild ritualistic behaviors, handled sen-
sitively, may aid the development of a sense of
belonging, these rites also possess tremendous
potential to hurt and cause long lasting mental
and emotional damage. Women fair no easier, the
worst form of hazing is unwanted sexual touches,
forcing sex with one or multiple partners. These
are forms of physical Bullying and Hazing experienced
by females (AAUW, 1993; Shakeshaft et al., 1986).
True to life, women have become pregnant because of
forced sexual intercourse during hazing carrying
the child to term and giving birth. In many cases
the male is not required to provide child support
because of the sacrifice by the women to be a member
of an organization.

In Conclusion
There needs to be discussion on actions that are
dehumanizing and human violations when talking
about Hazing and Bullying. Such discussions can be
appropriate as part of core subjects taught in
classrooms that focus on the rights of the individual.
Novels can be used to direct discussion, such novels
as The Lords of Discipline (Conroy, 1980), and Lord
of the Flies (Golding, 1954) can generate useful
discussions about hazing.

Added education helps schools understand the degree
to which seemingly harmless hazing traditions lend
themselves to bullying on the one hand or to group
loyalty and unity on the other hand. Students should
be brought into this discussion if change is going to
be made. To create a Bully/Hazing free environment it
is paramount that we educate teachers, students and
parents about the prevalence and consequences.


March 17, 2012

Cartoon Network Anti Bullying TV Program

Filed under: Uncategorized — William Jackson @ 21:49
Stop Bullying Now

Stop Bullying Now


Cartoon Network Anti Bullying TV Program

Stop Bullying

The lethality of words can create psychological and
emotional damage that can span years in a person’s
life. Creating damage to a person’s inner being,
their self-confidence, self-awareness and even the
ability to appreciate their own self-worth.

The Power To Stop Bullying rests within all of us.
The ability to reason, comprehend and rationalize that
our words, actions and even in actions have devastating
affect on other peoples lives especially the youth.

In the upcoming Cartoon Network TV presentation about
Bullying, former NBA star Chris Webber, tennis champion
Venus Williams and NASCAR driver Trevor Bayne, talk
about  their own experiences being bullied. All are
successes in their own professional and personal lives,
but were attacked by words and actions of others when
they were younger. The continued irony is that thousands
of youth that are talented in many areas are bullied
because they are different in some way, but those
differences when nurtured, encouraged and supported
can help everyone in some way not just the person
with the talent.

Chris Webber shares that he was bullied,
They called me ‘fish lips,” harassed about his height,
“I was always the shortest boy in my class.” and the
struggles with his identity caused by being bullied,
I thought something was wrong with me.” Chris
over came this with support, but there are to many
that do not have support or encouragement from
others even friends and family that stand and do
nothing either from fear for themselves or not
knowing who to turn to.

Youth in our schools, community centers and even
in churches are bullied because in some way they
are different either through physical attributes
and abilities, cognitive gifts, talents or in some
cases because they are academically talented.

Cartoon Network reaches millions of kids weekly
with its programming. They understand the infl-
uence they have with connecting children, youth,
teens and even adults with entertainment. The
other dynamic is to reach this audience with
educational programming. Millions of kids are
affected by bullying and their tormentors need
to understand that their actions are wrong, hurtful
and potentially deadly by the actions taken of
suicides, attempted suicides and children being
slain by those being bullied and “fed up” by being
bullied constantly.

The Cartoon Network’s drive to “Stop Bullying:
Speak Up”
, also brings in the President that has
recorded an opening message introducing a 30-
minute documentary film “Speak Up”. This drive
has been ongoing since October 2010 and is a
multi-platform that focuses on motivating bystanders,
witnesses and others to bullying and to speak up and
help prevent bullying.

The best way to reach youth is to allow youth to speak
to each other and to share their stories. The stories are
“poignant, touching, thoughtful and optimistic, consists
of candid interviews with kids, mostly between the ages
of 8 and 13 years old, who either are or have been the
target of bullies, bystanders in a bullying situation or
even bullies themselves.”

This program is a half-hour film that premiered on
March 14, 2012, at a middle school on Capitol Hill in
Washington, D.C and airs nationally on Cartoon Network
on Sunday, March 18, 2012, check local programming
for exact time in your viewing area.

Other programming is available, but because of a more
gritty and adult language presence cannot be shown
on Cartoon Network, but parents, teachers, admini-
stration, those that are in Ministry and even in higher
education need/should consider viewing these programs
and if youth can handle it be shown them and discuss
openly and honestly about the issue of Bullying.

Even some in Ministry, Clergy and religious organiz-
ations refuse or deny there is bullying by youth,
teens, tweens, and young adults in church, but that
is a false and\dangerous continued way of thinking.
Just as the past incidents of religious leader’s con-
victions, allegations, exploitation of youth, sexual
harassment, cyber/sexual bullying and texting.
All these are forms and conditions that can be open
for bullying, this issue cannot be denied, Bullying
has many forms and faces in society.

The documentary “Bully” was produced by
Harvey Weinstein tells the story of bullying in
middle school and high school, but the language
is real and the emotions are true. The program has
a rating of R only because of the language, but it is
a well known fact that many teens when not around
adults do use profanity. Even those that choose not
to curse have heard words from either parent’s,
family members, in school, in their communities, in
video games, and on television.
Parents cannot have a head in the sand mentality
because this is real life and real kids.

Showing the extent and seriousness of bullying even
Sesame Street has created programming discussing
with young children about bullying. A special episode,
“The Good Birds’ Club” shows when Big Bird is bullied
by another bird in his neighborhood. On this level
the delicate issue of “snitching” and tattling is discussed.

Children are taught to seek the help of an adult they
trust. The realities of life are being faced by children
as young as three, four and five years of age. The episode
can be seen:

Parents take the lead and model for your children.
This is too serious a subject to not be involved in and
too dangerous not to talk to your kids about. Just
because children/teens don’t say anything does not
mean they are not affected.
Check your kids Facebook, Twitter feed, MySpace
and other online sites, but don’t stop there. Check
their phones, check their book bags, and check their
rooms. In honesty if you are too afraid get counseling
or law enforcement involved.

Ryan’s story about being bullied and his suicide:

Sit down with your children, your family and
friends and view this important work. You may be
surprised by your children and friends reaction.

Resources: The Power To Stop Bullying

Stop Bullying

Cartoon Network Air Special On Bullying

Stop Bullying

Sesame Street

The Breakfast Meeting: Teens From ‘Bully’

President Obama Says Stop Bullying – Speak Up

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